Why it pays to eat purple

Never mind greens, we should be eating more purple food.

By Donna Fleming

Foods like blueberries, acai berries, purple kumara, beetroot, aubergine, purple corn chips and purple cabbage get their vivid colour from an antioxidant called anthocyanin, which can boost our health.

What are the health benefits of purple food?
• It can fight cancer. Several studies have found that anthocyanins in blueberries can prevent the growth of breast cancer cells and stop prostate tumours from forming. It may also be effective in preventing colon cancer.

• Anthocyanins can help to reverse the damage to skin caused by UV rays and slow down the ageing process caused by the skin’s collagen breaking down.

• It can help with weight loss. A Japanese study found mice gained less weight when they ate purple sweet potatoes.

• It can reverse brain ageing. A study of 16,000 people found that those who ate more anthocyanin-rich berries did better in cognitive tests.

• It can protect the heart and blood vessels from oxidative damage, and help rejuvenate the cardiovascular system.

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